Vulvodynia is chronic pain around the vulva that is not caused by vaginal infections, sexually transmitted disease or cancer.
It is likely that many factors are involved including those related to the body’s nerves, hormones and immune system.
The intensity of pain can vary from mild discomfort to a severe constant pain. Some women describe the pain as aching, throbbing and swelling. For others the pain is likened to being stab with a knife or being stuck with a needle in the vaginal area.
Vulvar pain can be categorized into provoked aka Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome (VVS) and unprovoked or generalized vulvodynia (GV).
As shown in the diagram above, VVS-(provoked vagina pain) is characterized by pain limited to the vestibule, the area surrounding the opening of the vagina. It occurs during or after pressure is applied to the area such as:
For women who have GV – (unprovoked vulva pain), the pain occurs spontaneously and is constant. As with long term pain from any cause, there might be some good days and bad days. Applying pressure to the area, such as sitting for prolong periods will intensify the pain.
The pain from unprovoked vulvodynia is not restricted to the vulva area. Some women experience pain in the left labia or near the clitoris, while others might felt the pain in multiple areas e.g. in the labia, clitoris, vestibule, perineum and inner thighs as shown in the diagram.
Vulvar pain is a complex pain disorder.
Many factors are involved. One or more of the following causes might act
together to trigger the pain.
Damage or irritation of the nerves of the vulva – a previous vaginal surgery might damage the nerves and irritation can be caused by perfumed soaps, bubble bath, douches and anti-fungal cream.
Increase number and hyper-sensitivity of nerve endings in the vulva – The abnormal nerve fiber signals are felt as sensations of pain by the women. An attack of shingles can also cause this kind of nerve-type pain. Once the rash of shingles disappears, the area where the shingles was remains intensely painful and sore despite the skin appearing normal.
Changes in hormone level - a drop in estrogen levels during menopause might lead to vaginal dryness. Friction from intercourse worsens the condition and the vulva becomes inflamed and swollen.
Weak pelvic floor muscles – the slack pelvic floor muscles exerts pressure on the nerves in the vulva area.
Wear 100% white cotton panties and loose fitting skirt and pants.
Probiotics Cleansing Mousse
Manjakani Plus Gel-Vaginal Lubricant
Apply herbal vaginal lubricant (The Manjakani Plus Gel as shown) 15 minutes before sex and experiment on positions that hurts less. Usually women on top where she is in control will lessen the pain. Read more..
Open up to your gynecologist to determine the best treatment. Pain that originates from nerve fibers is best treated with drugs that alter the way in which nerve fibers transmit their impulses to the spinal cord and give the sensation of pain.
Prescriptin drugs such as Tricyclic antidepressants have some success in treating chronic vaginal pain. As with most drugs, tricyclic tablets might cause side-effects such as constipation, dry mouth and blurred vision.
Other options are therapies –
There is no one treatment for vulvodynia that works for all women. You may need to try a combination of treatments to get the best results. Since vaginal pain affects a woman emotionally, it helps to join a support group so that you know you are not suffering alone.Back to top
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